At the end of each college football weekend, we take our best guess at what we’ll see from the new AP Top 25.
Here’s where the poll stood entering the weekend. Below is our prediction for how it will shake out when the new AP Top 25 comes out Tuesday at 2 p.m. ET. The Coaches Poll will also be released at noon on Tuesday.
Until then, we submit our best guess at the new rankings.
1. Alabama Crimson Tide (Last week — 1): There’s just not a better team in the country right now than Alabama, as it displayed in the careful dismantling of a talented Southern California Trojans team. The Tide still have to go play the games, but no one was more impressive on college football’s opening weekend.
2. Clemson Tigers (2): Dabo Swinney will be the first to tell you that Clemson didn’t play a perfect game in Jordan-Hare Stadium, but Deshaun Watson and Mike Williams synced up enough to push the Tigers to a victory. No change in their stock as ACC favorites or the No. 2 to Alabama until proven otherwise.
3. Ohio State Buckeyes (6): J.T. Barrett ‘s seven-touchdown afternoon against Bowling Green Falcons highlighted a collection of Ohio State’s skill position talent. While Watson and Williams continue to light up defenses in the south, don’t ignore the campaign that Barrett and Co. have started in Columbus, Ohio. It should be noted that this projected top-five ranking will be put to the test soon with a road trip to Oklahoma Sooners .
4. Florida State Seminoles (4): The Noles’ furious comeback against Ole Miss Rebels highlighted Deondre Francois ‘ athleticism and playmaking, for sure, but also an offensive line that has room for improvement for FSU to be title contenders. If the red zone touchdown execution improves, there are no issues.
5. Houston Cougars (15): Everything is coming up Lone Star State in Week 1. Not only did Texas Longhorns and Texas A&M defend home turf, but Houston knocked off Oklahoma with Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby in the house. The Cougars infectious energy and playing style made for great theater and only bolstered any off-field arguments for their inclusion among the ranks of the other Power Five teams.
6. Michigan Wolverines (7): Hawaii Rainbow Warriors flew to Australia, did just enough to cause some #VegasDrama with a near cover (or late cover) and then had to fly to Ann Arbor to meet a hyped-up Michigan team in fresh Jordan gear. The 63-3 win only reinforced what many expected: Michigan will be really, really really good.
7. Stanford Cardinal (8): Christian McCaffrey is still going to be ridiculous this year, and Kansas State Wildcats is going to make life miserable for all of your favorite Big 12 teams. Stanford’s 26-13 win on Friday night brought good returns for Ryan Burns and the Cardinal defense.
8. Tennessee Volunteers (9): Losses to top teams benefit Tennessee, a team that needed overtime to beat Appalachian State at home on a big stage on Thursday.
9. Michigan State Spartans (12): Sparty held just an eight-point lead early in the third quarter against Furman but oulasted the Paladins like you’d expect any FBS to do, much less top-25 team to in a season opener. The offense was a little clunky and there might be concerns in the trenches, but a win’s a win when you’ve got recent success to lean on in the minds of the voters.
10. TCU Horned Frogs (13): South Dakota State is a feisty FCS program with some FBS foes mounted on the wall in their cabin. TCU survived, broke in Kenny Hill and showed enough firepower to fire a shot across the bow of its Big 12 competition.
11. Ole Miss (11): Steady after a loss? The Rebels might do it. Ole Miss jumped all over Florida State early and showed plenty of the same dangerous Chad Kelly offense we saw a year ago. No reason to penalize Ole Miss in the polls for Monday night’s second half.
12. Washington Huskies (14): John Ross was a beast, pulling in two touchdown receptions and returning a kickoff for a touchdown, and the Huskies did exactly what was necessary to follow through on the expectations of a big step forward in 2016.
13. Georgia Bulldogs (18): Nick Chubb is back in a big way, pouring in 222 rushing yards on North Carolina Tar Heels ‘s defense in Kirby Smart’s first win as a coach. The Bulldogs could be anywhere from 12 to 15, depending on how much of Saturday’s win is put on North Carolina’s miscues.
14. Louisville Cardinals (19): Lamar Jackson spent all offseason working on his pocket passing and then tore up Charlotte 49ers in the open field. After eight touchdowns, no one’s taking the Cards lightly in the ACC.
15. Wisconsin Badgers (NR): Wisconsin’s offense, as it performed on Saturday, will cost the Badgers at least one game, but if the defense continues to snuff out opponents week after week it might be enough to win the Big Ten West.
16. Texas A&M (NR): Trevor Knight ‘s got enough weapons and enough playmaking experience to give the Aggies a chance in any close game. The only surprise from the opener is that we’re more excited about Kevin Sumlin’s defense than Kevin Sumlin’s offense.
17. Iowa Hawkeyes (17): Is Iowa going to fly below the radar and end up hanging around the College Football Playoff picture again? [Chip checks the box score for Iowa’s 45-21 win against Miami (Ohio), sees 204 combined rushing yards from Akrum Wadley and LeShun Daniels Jr. ] Yep. Iowa is probably going to fly below the radar and end up hanging around the College Football Playoff picture again.
18. Oklahoma (3): There is panic this week in Norman this week, especially with Ohio State coming to town in two weeks. Bob Stoops will keep the crew calm inside the building, but fans’ national title hopes started fading away during the breakdowns in Houston.
19. Texas (NR): Beating Notre Dame Fighting Irish did worlds for Charlie Strong and the Big 12’s reputation, but more than anything it should have energized true freshman quarterback Shane Buechele . Taking on the Irish defense with Tyrone Swoopes and making the two quarterback rotation work in a signature win is an experience they can build on moving forward.
20. Oklahoma State Cowboys (21): Little movement for the Pokes after a 61-7 win against Southeastern Louisiana.
21. Notre Dame (10): The Irish have one of the best quarterback-receiver combos in the country with DeShone Kizer and Equanimeous St. Brown , but the loss at likely Texas knocks them down more than 10 spots in the AP Top 25. The quarterback “controversy” will be the story of the week, but Kizer appears to be the best option under center.
22. UCLA Bruins (16): Josh Rosen ran for his life against Texas A&M’s front but led two touchdown drives in crunch time. It’s doubtful that UCLA falls all the way out of the rankings for an overtime loss on the road to a talented Aggies team.
23. LSU Tigers (5): LSU’s in trouble. There’s no way around it, and there’s no reason to expect that there’s going to be an immediate improvement without a better performance from Brandon Harris .
24. Baylor Bears (23): There’s a new head coach on the sidelines but the scores and stats look very Briles. Russell had a four-touchdown day in just one half and Baylor trotted out basically the entire roster in a runaway victory against Northwestern State.
25. Florida Gators (25): Luke Del Rio tossed a couple scores and the Gators took care of UMass. No reason to drop the Gators, but no reason to move them up either.
Projected to drop out of the rankings: USC, North Carolina, Oregon Ducks
Just missed the cut: Miami, Utah Utes , Boise State Broncos
Source: CBS Sports Headlines / Tomorrow’s Top 25 Today: Top-five losses shake the polls, Houston jumps way up